|Written by Brian Bergner|
|Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:00|
For 41-year-old Daria Weir and her 13-year-old daughter Danya, life on the ranch is anything but normal.
Just off the beaten path sits the Weir farm nestled between the mountains and the small town of Camp Verde.
Driving up to the Weir farm is like taking a trip back in time when cowboys and Indians ruled the land and there were no cell phones, televisions nor big Chevy trucks.
In this day and age, however, it’s perfectly normal to see a 13-year-old eighth-grader like Danya rope a sprinting calf, then pull out her cell phone after receiving a text message from a friend without getting off her horse.
A bellowing lamb continues to cry as if starving to death, when in fact it just doesn’t like being tied to the practice ring fence.
Daria and Danya take turns roping calf in an effort to get ready for the next weekend‘s rodeo, which can take them anywhere between Buckeye to New Mexico or even Colorado.
“It’s my life, it’s really fun to do,” Danya said in between classes at Camp Verde Middle School last week. “I get to meet new people and go all over the place and do different things.”
Danya competes in the Cinch Junior High School Rodeo Association for students in sixth through eighth grades.
The rodeo association is a national organization which competes within state ranks first, and if lucky and good enough, one can compete nationally.
“Danya is currently sitting No. 1 in the breakaway competition and is in the top six in several other events,” Daria said of her daughter.
The mother-daughter team both compete in the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association, which is set in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.
Daria claimed the GCPRA state championship in breakaway roping in 2006, and was the incentive barrel racing champion in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
“The fun part is the competitions,” Daria said while sitting next to her daughter in the front office at CVMS. “We’ll tie against each other and it’s fun to practice and prepare mentally together. It gives us both the determination to work hard.”
Daria is a counselor at CVMS while Danya is the student body president. While Daria has been in rodeo for 27 years, Danya began her career at 5 years old.
“My whole family is in rodeo and I’ve been doing it since I was little. This is my life,” Danya said.
Besides helping run the school as student body president and competing in rodeos over the weekend, Danya finds time to play softball as well.
“I play club ball and for the school. It’s a great game; I really enjoy it,” Danya said.
In rodeo, Danya competes in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, ribbon roping and team roping.
Rodeo blood runs deep as Bob Weir, Danya’s father, is a rodeo clown and announcer while also holding down duties as the principal at Camp Verde High School.
There will always be something rodeo going on at the Weir farm any day of the week with several events to practice for, but according to both Daria and Danya, it’s not a hard life.
“This is our life; we love it. We can’t imagine having it any other way,” Daria and Danya said collectively.
From looking at how happy the two are and the lifestyle they live, not many would want it any other way.
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